Stephen Curry will turn 35 years old by next season's playoffs, while Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be 33. The Golden State Warriors couldn't have won a fourth title in eight seasons without a revamped supporting cast, but none of their elite young prospects carved out a consistent spot in Steve Kerr's playoff rotation.
Still, Golden State has done better building building separate roster timelines than pretty much anyone could've anticipated. But if they intend on competing for championships every year for the foreseeable future, it goes without saying the Warriors will need more from the likes of Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman. Don't tell that to Green, though.
On a podcast collaboration with J.J. Redick, Green predicted Golden State will win “three of the next four” NBA titles in large part due to game-changing recent strength gains made by the reigning Finals MVP.
“In 2019 was when Steph really locked in on the weight room. That's where he kinda starts taking that bump and kinda bumping it up a little bit,” Green said. “And although it didn't show immediately because in 2020 we were terrible, he broke his hand, you started to see in 2021, we were still terrible, but Steph was carrying us, and he carried us to the play-in game. We didn't get past it, which was probably great because we would've gotten swept and that would've been the first series we ever got swept, so thank god we didn't make it. But I think you started to see it then, that growth, like, ‘Ah, man, nobody can stop this dude now.' And I think that really changed the complexity of our organization, and I'm pretty certain that's why we'll win three of the next four NBA championships.”
Curry's improved functional strength indeed loomed large against the Boston Celtics.
Expectations coming into the NBA Finals were that Boston had enough quality individual defenders to prevent Curry from dominating in isolation. Instead, he absolutely roasted the Celtics one-on-one when they resorted to switching, most memorably when Curry embarrassed Al Horford as Golden State closed out Game 6. Even perimeter defenders the likes of Marcus Smart, Derrick White and Jaylen Brown proved helpless when left on an island with Curry.
Curry's evolution as a bucket-getter, obviously, is huge to the Warriors' hopes of continuing their dynasty. But Father Time only waits so long, and the clock is ticking on Golden State's Big Three. Even if Curry takes his one-on-one exploits to new heights going forward, most telling with regard to Green's confident boasting about future championships will be the growth of players like Kuminga, Moody and Wiseman.
Needless to say, after the Warriors' latest title run, no one will be counting them out either way.